Interviews and press conferences
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan gave a press conference
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On March 14, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a press conference in the Government, which was attended by representatives of more than 4 dozen mass media.
Before answering the questions of media representatives, the Prime Minister delivered an opening speech, in which he specifically stated:
"Good morning, dear journalists,
On February 28, a report on the progress and results of the 2022 implementation of the 2021-2026 Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Armenia was presented to the National Assembly.
This is an important document, which, of course, will be discussed in detail in the National Assembly in the near future. Before the parliamentary discussions of the report, I considered it reasonable to call this press conference in order to talk with journalists about the results and problems of the previous year, as well as the current state of foreign and domestic politics, in a question-and-answer format.
Returning to the report, I should note that the key challenge for the government of the Republic of Armenia in 2022 continued to be the provision of external security.
The deepening geopolitical instability, uncertainties and tensions becoming evident in the spheres of world order and international security further aggravate the threats to the external security of the Republic of Armenia.
Another aggression unleashed by Azerbaijan against the Republic of Armenia on September 13, 2022, the ongoing occupation of the sovereign territories of Armenia, the constant threat of new aggression, the unresolved state of the Nagorno Karabakh issue, the incursions of the Azerbaijani military into the area of responsibility of the Russian Federation peacekeeping troops in Nagorno Karabakh, the illegal blockade of the Lachin Corridor, the suspensions of natural gas and electric supplies to Nagorno Karabakh and the resulting humanitarian, energy and environmental crises in Nagorno Karabakh have prevented the Armenian government from fully focusing on the implementation of development agendas.
However, 2022 has become a year of large-scale reforms. The government adopted a policy of not deviating from the reform agenda, accomplishment of state institutions and development of the country in the face of security challenges.
As a result, the year 2022 was concluded with a 12.6 percent economic growth, which is unprecedented for the last 15 years. In 2022, the tax revenues of the state budget amounted to 1 trillion 926 billion AMD, which is more than 2017 by 768 billion AMD or 2 billion 20 million US dollars or 66.3 percent, and compared to 2018 by 670 billion AMD or 1 billion 820 million USD or 53 percent.
In 2022, the number of registered jobs continued to increase. In December, an absolute record of jobs was registered in the history of Armenia: 704,000 jobs. This means that since May 2018, 156,431 jobs have been created in Armenia.
Unemployment fell to 13 percent in 2022, against 19 percent in 2018. Moreover, in the third quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate in Armenia was 11.6 percent, which is the lowest rate in the last 14 years.
During 2022, 36.5 billion AMD of income tax was returned to natural persons in the sidelines of mortgage loan interest refund, which exceeds the figure of 2018 by 31.8 billion AMD or about 680 percent. The number of beneficiaries of the program in 2022 was 29,197 people, which exceeded the number of 2018 by 25,176 people or 626 percent. This means that since 2018, about 25,176 families have acquired a new apartment in newly constructed buildings.
In 2022, institutional reforms were launched and continued in the armed forces, external and internal security, education and science, healthcare, state administration and local self-government, balanced territorial development, transport, energy, high technologies, anti-corruption policy, democracy and human rights, judiciary, etc.
The government continued to pursue a balanced and balancing foreign policy. Nevertheless, the key issue remains unsolved: guaranteeing the external security of the Republic of Armenia. Our assessment is that there is no one-step solution to this question. In order to solve this issue, a deep analysis of the international, regional, military-political and internal political situation and steps arising from it are necessary. The Government has adopted this very policy and practice, realizing that the current situation poses serious threats and serious opportunities for the country. Our job is to manage the threats and exploit the opportunities accordingly.
Now I am ready to answer your questions, which should not necessarily refer to the report on the progress and results of the 2022 implementation of the 2021-2026 Action Plan of the Government of the Republic of Armenia.
Thank you for accepting the invitation to participate in the press conference."
Then, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan answered many questions of media representatives.